Juan Gaertner

Researchers narrow down cancer to bad luck

Diseases have marred lots of lives with pain and suffering. The root cause of many diseases is somewhat traced back to a few basic things. The tracings can be shortlisted to bad lifestyle choices, unhealthy practices, excessive stress, and anxiety. Things are very similar when we talk about cancer and its causes.

Searches in a high number boil down to the fact that cancer is a product of a modern lifestyle that is not quite healthy. Practices such as smoking, excessive intake of alcohol, etc. are usually paired with the onset of cancer.

Biologically speaking, cancer is a disease where the cell reproduction gets a bit out of hand. Catalyzed by the production of the oncogenes, also known as the cancer genes, the cells divide rapidly and without a break. The unchecked growth of cells in various body parts give rise to a cancerous growth which can be localized or benign. But, it also can be the spreading type, where the cancer cells move along other cells and spread the growth throughout the body. Both, when not treated, are fatal.

Unfortunately, the popular and common belief of cancer being caused by unhealthy practices or exposure to cancer triggers is not quite true. The idea holds the belief that taking care of one’s body by not consuming toxins like nicotine or alcohol helps to keep cancer at bay. These toxins, when influence cells frequently, the oncogenes are thought to be triggered. And, thus begins the cancerous growths.

But sadly, in the case of most cancer and also the quite common ones, healthy or unhealthy practices play no significant role. Two-thirds of cancers are caused by mutations. Mutations are random and unpredictable changes in the cell DNA, which cause minor or major changes in the DNA duplication. When the mutation occurs, the DNA replicates at random, and hence cells divide. The unchecked, or more accurately, the uncontrolled growth has no inhibitor. As said, the unpredictable mutation thus takes control.

A study conducted by researches was made public in the Science journal. It comes to the point that these unpredictable and variable changes or mutations accumulate in the body. The stem cells are the predecessors of these changes. And when these mutated cells of the body further divide, they give rise to onco-triggered cells.

After a detailed analysis of about 30 cancers, it was perceived that 22 of them originated not due to unhealthy habits but the mutations themselves. The unpredicted mutations in the cancer patients thus come down to the point that it is a mere case of bad luck. And, hence not preventable to a major extent. The stem cells that are mutated rise at random and without certainty. Therefore predicting it through genetics or lifestyle changes only overburden the patients, who consider themselves guilty, wrongfully.

The cancers that fall into the list of ‘bad luck’ cancers are extremely common and also deadly in a higher number. Pancreatic, leukemia, bone, testicular, ovarian, and brain cancer,the ones that rip several people off a good life are included in the list. The biological bad luck, which is cancer, is thus evidently not a flaw in the patients’ care of themselves.

Though you are not very much likely to predict when and who is more at risk of acquiring the deadly disease, it does not eliminate the importance of a good diet. Narrowing it all to bad luck does not take the responsibility off your shoulders. If not cancer, unhealthy practices, and toxin rich intakes like smoking will only render you more susceptible to other deadly diseases. So eat a balanced diet and get a medical examination done regularly to eradicate cancer if it ever happens to cross your path.